Should one read a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the third and fourth rak‘ah of the sunnah prayers?

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Last Updated on 16th July 2021

Someone asked for guidance on reading a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the third and fourth rak‘ah of the sunnah prayers. 

Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, in a letter dated 14 March 2019, gave the following reply:

“We find clear statements in the ahadith in favour of reading a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the first two rak‘ahs of the fardh prayers. However, we find no such statement at all in ahadith, especially in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, which would make it compulsory to read a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in all four rak‘ahs of the sunnah prayers. 

“Jurists differ on this issue. Hence, followers of the Maliki and Hanbali schools read a portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in all of the rak‘ahs of the sunnah prayers, while those who follow the Hanafi and Shafi‘i orders do not read any portion of the Holy Quran in addition to Surah al-Fatihah in the third and fourth rak‘ah

“According to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, as far as this issue is concerned, there is no difference between fardh and sunnah prayers: Just as a portion of the Holy Quran is recited in addition to Surah al-Fatihah only in the first two rak‘ahs of the fardh prayers, so too will a portion of the Holy Quran be recited in addition to Surah al-Fatihah only in the first two rak‘ahs of the sunnah prayers. Surah al-Fatihah alone should suffice in the third and fourth rak‘ah. And that is my position too.” 

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